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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies
Title Silencing the Epidemic: Stories from Patients in Herbal Clinics in Kenya
Author(s)
Volume 4
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 359-364
URL http://jeteraps.scholarlinkresearch.com/articles/Silencing the Epidemic.pdf
Abstract
A biomedical cure for HIV/AIDS continues to elude science; therefore individuals and communities infected
with HIV, particularly in Africa, seek alternative medicine in attempts to get a cure. A review of several studies
reveals that integration of biomedicine and alternative therapies is gaining currency in many communities in
Africa today. This paper is based on a study that investigated the discourse on HIV/AIDS in herbal clinics in
Kenya. The study focused on the discourse on HIV/AIDS in two herbal clinics located in Kisumu town. The
data collection was conducted by observation and in-depth interviews. The Interviews were conducted with
herbalists and patients who visit the herbal clinics while the selection of participants was based on their
willingness and consent to participate in the study. The total number of participants who were available and
willing to take part in the interview was eight (8), two (2) herbalists and six (6) patients in the herbal clinics.
Data analysis involved transcription of the recorded discourse and then translating from Kiswahili to English.
The study revealed that despite concerns about its safety and standards, herbal medicine is still popular and a
significant factor in the healthcare system in Kenya. From the study it was found out that the ‘volume’ of
HIV/AIDS in modern hospitals is too loud and is therefore silenced in herbal clinics. The study contributes
useful knowledge to the wider field of Linguistics. It is of particular importance to researchers conducting
sociolinguistics and Critical Discourse analysis studies. This paper also highlights the importance of herbal
clinics in the fight against HIV/AIDS. It will be an important contribution studies related to herbal medicine and
HIV/AIDS.

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